INTERVIEW: "Batgirl and the Birds of Prey" Hunt Rebirth's Oracle
Manga | Rensuke Oshikiri’s romantic comedy manga Hi Score Girl will resume serialization in Square Enix’s Monthly Big Gangan magazine, after a lengthy hiatus due to copyright issues. The manga was suspended in 2014 after the game company SNK Playmore filed a criminal complaint against Square Enix, claiming the manga used characters from SNK’s games without permission. Copyright violations are taken seriously in Japan: Police raided Square Enix’s offices, and the publisher not only stopped selling the series but issued a recall. Although Square Enix filed a counterclaim, Tokyo police initiated charges against 16 people, including Oshikiri and Square Enix staffers. The parties agreed on a settlement in August 2015. In addition to resuming serialization of the series, Square Enix will publish the sixth volume and new editions of the first five. [Anime News Network]
Standing 6 inches tall and featuring interchangeable hands, the Black Panther figure is set to arrive in November, joining Captain America, Iron Man and Ant-Man.
Of all the 1/6th-scale collectible figures in Hot Toys’ Captain America: Civil War line, Black Panther may be the one collectors are looking forward to most. And judging from these first official images, it’s unlikely to disappoint.
Sure, it’s light on accessories — interchangeable palms, and a display stand only — but you must admit the body and highly detailed, textured black-and-silver costume are impressive. Standing just over 12 inches tall, Black Panther boasts more than 30 points of articulation.
Legal | The trial of two Iowa men accused of plotting an armed attack in August the Pokemon World Championships has been delayed until November. Kevin Norton, 18, and James Stumbo, 27, have been in custody since their Aug. 22 arrest outside Boston on charges of possession of a large-capacity weapon and other crimes. Prosecutors say the two, who allegedly made multiple online threats against the event, drove from Iowa to Boston with guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in their car. Their trial was originally set for May 9. [Ames Tribune]
Awards | Adding to a list of recent honors that includes a National Book Award and a MacArthur “genius grant,” author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates has been nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism for his acclaimed memoir Between the World and Me. Coates is collaborating with artist Brian Stelfreeze on Marvel’s new Black Panther series, which debuts in April. [The New York Times]
Creators | Comics-industry pundit Rob Salkowitz looks at the resurgence of interest in Jack Kirby, who has posthumously received credit (and pay) for the work he created over the years for Marvel Comics: “For decades, the story of how everyone made a fortune off the work of this visionary creator except for Kirby himself – who until his final days toiled to eke out financial security for his family – stood as one of the most egregious injustices in an industry distinguished by its ill-treatment of creative talent. Now, as we approach his centenary in 2017, the man that Stan Lee nicknamed ‘King of the Comics’ is finally starting to get his due in the wider world of art, culture and commerce.” [Forbes]
This May, Captain America and Iron Man will go head-to-head over the Sokovia Accords in “Captain America: Civil War,” the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While much of the promotional material asks you to pick a side, you won’t have to when Funko’s new line of Pop! and Dorbz figures arrive in February and March.
Funko has debuted new Pop! figures of Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Black Panther, Falcon, War Machine, Scarlet Witch, Sharon Carter, Winter Soldier and Crossbones for the upcoming film; additionally, Dorbz versions of Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Black Panther, Falcon, Vision and Winter Solider have been announced. Notably, this will be Falcon’s first official Funko figure.
Journalist and author Ta-Nehisi Coates, announced just last week as the writer of Marvel’s new Black Panther comic, is one of 24 people selected as 2015 fellows of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Commonly referred to as a “genius grant,” the prestigious award comes with a $625,000 cash prize distributed quarterly over five years, with no strings attached.
“When I first got the call from the MacArthur Foundation, I was ecstatic,” Coates, author of the bestselling Between the World and Me, says in the video below, “and then I was deeply, deeply honored. We labor in the dark, y’know. If anybody even reads what I’m doing, that’s a great day.”
First we get the long-awaited Black Panther by Christopher Priest: The Complete Collection, and now we receive our first official look at the Black Panther Fine Art Statue from Kotobukiya. You’d almost think there’s a film in development or something.
Showcased in July at Comic-Con International, Black Panther is depicted crouching on the head of an ancient panther statue overgrown with foliage. The 1/6th-scale statue is about 12 inches tall.
You know you’ve created something special when the fanbase starts marketing for you.
Sure there’s the fans that get folks pumped up through general word-of-mouth hype and excitement, but then there are the ones who go above and beyond — fans like mechanical engineer Darian Robbins, whose mock magazine covers for Marvel Studios’ upcoming “Black Panther” film have become a viral hit.
Superheroes sprang from the era of pulp icons like The Phantom and Doc Savage, and now cartoonist Chris Schweizer has some of today’s most popular costumed characters back to their roots.
In a project undertaken just for fun, the creator of The Crogan Adventures imagined some of the Avengers and X-Men as they might’ve appeared in the 1920s and 1930s in a series called “Marvel Pulp.”
“People clamor for Black Panther or Luke Cage, and the incredible response when the Static show was announced — that wasn’t just black fans going ‘yay, about time.’ That was fans going, ‘yay, about time.’ Everyone knows diversity is good. We want black superheroes, we want female superheroes, we want Latino superheroes. That makes things better. And they don’t have to be sidekicks or buddies, they can be rock stars themselves.”
— Reginald Hudlin, in an interview with Comic Book Resources, discussing the Static Shock live-action digital series, and the desire for diversity in superhero-comics adaptations
It was exciting Tuesday when Marvel Studios unveiled its Phase Three plans, with nine feature films, including Black Panther, starring Chadwick Boseman, and Captain Marvel, featuring the Carol Danvers version. However, amid the enthusiasm, there was some hand-wringing.
Are we about to be oversaturated with superheroes? Is the movie-going public going to get sick of capes and tights? Are superhero movies a fad that will go the way of the Western?
Between Marvel, Warner Bros., Fox and Sony, there are more than 30 superhero movies planned between next year and 2020. An average of five movies a year will be released, peaking in 2016 and 2016, with eight films each. No doubt more announcements will follow as we make our way through the decade.
This hasn’t gone unnoticed. Immediately after Tuesday’s press event, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige was asked if he was concerned about the increasing number of superhero films. He pointed out that it’s “a challenge we’ve faced for many, many years.”
All 13 characters have been revealed for The Marvel Experience interactive tour, and at least a couple may surprise you.
As depicted in the above image, debuted by Yahoo, the usual suspects — Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and the Incredible Hulk — will be joined by Wolverine, Black Widow, Nick Fury, Maria Hill, The Vision, She-Hulk, Iron Fist and Black Panther.
“This is the only place you’ll see them together, and we’re proud of that,” Rick Licht, CEO of tour producer Hero Ventures, is quoted as saying. That’s in part because the film rights to Wolverine and Spider-Man are held by Fox and Sony, respectively.
[Editor’s note: Each Sunday, Robot 6 contributors discuss the best in comics from the last seven days — from news and announcements to a great comic that came out to something cool creators or fans have done.]
In some ways, this is the best of times and the worst of times for those who are interested in bringing comics to a broader audience. As the hubbub died down over Milo Manara’s Spider-Woman cover, another story went viral, about a comic shop where an employee allegedly made a crude joke about a “rape room” and then fired a trainee who complained about it. While debate continues to rage over what exactly happened there (the store owner denies it), Bloomberg did a big story on how the number of women comics readers is growing and becoming an ever more important sector of the industry.
With this in mind, I want to call out three things that happened this week.
The first is Gene Luen Yang’s speech at the National Book Festival. First of all, it’s impressive that a comics creator is given such a prominent platform at an event that isn’t actually focused on comics. What Yang had to say was even more impressive. He spoke about the African-American creator Dwayne McDuffie, whose love of comics first caught fire when he encountered the Black Panther, a black character created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The Black Panther wasn’t perfect, but, Yang said,
All of these flaws were lost on Dwayne McDuffie when he first encountered the Black Panther in 1973, at the age of 11. What struck him was the character’s commanding sense of dignity. The Black Panther wasn’t anyone’s sidekick. He wasn’t an angry thug. He wasn’t a victim. He was his own hero, his own man. As Dwayne describes it, “In the space of 15 pages, black people moved from invisible to inevitable.”
While we’ve certainly seen a number of fan films featuring Superman, Judd Dredd and the Bat-family (the Dark Knight, Batgirl, Nightwing, the Gotham villains, etc.), I think this is the first one I’ve seen starring Black Panther.
The brainchild of D.A. Jackson, who wrote, directed and starred, Storms of Carnage: The Black Panther Unleashed is an extremely violent — as “Storms of Carnage” may suggest — “real-world” take on the Marvel character that’s part political/crime thriller, part no-holds-barred martial-arts film. (Seriously, the last half isn’t safe for work, or possibly for the squeamish.)